Child Custody Lawyers Adelaide
Separation and divorce are a difficult time, particularly if children are involved. The welfare of your children should take priority over other considerations such as asset distribution. Parenting arrangements can be resolved through negotiations between you and your former partner without court intervention. A Scammell & Co. family lawyer can assist with this.
Such agreements can include decisions about:
- With whom the child/children will live with;
- How much time the child/children will spend with each parent;
- Parental responsibilities such as payment of school fees, and transporting children to and from school;
- Access to grandparents and other important people in their lives; and
- Any other factors relating to the care, welfare and development of the child/children.
With parenting arrangements agreed upon, it is advisable to formalise these in a written agreement referred to as a ‘parenting plan’. This can be drafted by you or with the help of a lawyer. It is important to understand that parenting agreements can only be made by consent, and if drafted out of court are not legally enforceable. Therefore, a level of trust between the parties involved is required to make them work.
If you want your written parenting plan to be legally enforceable, you can make an application to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court so that Orders can be made. Consent Orders require agreement between you and your former partner. Consent Orders are legally binding and failing to comply with such Orders may lead to penalties being imposed.
A Parenting Order is an order which is made by either the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court which sets out details relating to the care and living arrangements of a child/children. Parenting Orders can be made either by consent between the parties or the Court can hear the matter and then make an Order. Court decisions always consider what is in the best interests of the child/children.
It is important to note that Parenting Orders do not include orders relating to the financial support of a child/children. Child Support is a separate issue which can be dealt with privately in a Binding Child Support Agreement or through the Department of Human Services.
For more information, view our intervention order page.
Will the children have to divide their time between myself and their mother/father?
What if the children don’t want to go with the other parent?
What if I want to keep the house and care for the children?
What if I am being prevented from seeing my children?
Where parenting arrangements cannot be agreed, the parties are required to attend Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) before they commence Court proceedings unless exceptional circumstances apply.
How do I keep legal costs down?
- Responding to correspondences from your lawyer in a timely and complete manner;
- Sending your lawyer an agenda of your questions before you meet;
- Making 2 copies of documents that need to be disclosed (one for your lawyer and one for your former partner or his/her lawyer);
- Producing documents sought from your lawyer in the first instance; and
- Consider whether the value of the matter in dispute outweighs the legal costs involved.